Saturday, July 10th, 2010
SEXUAL insecurity among under-30 males is being put under the comic microscope at Melville Theatre this July and August.

Written by Howard Korder and directed by Geoffrey Leeder, Boys’ Life was originally nominated for a 1988 Pulitzer Prize and follows three young men and their misadventures with women.

But forget modern-day metrosexuals or sensitive new-age men, says Leeder – this trio is sexist, rude and immature.

“Their encounters with women show them for what they really are, which is jerks,” he said. “But young men like this really exist.

“I was on the train and a group of blokes were mouthing off about their sexual conquests and generally being twits. At the time, I thought they had stepped from the pages of my script!

“I’m sure the audience will find characters they’re able to relate to in some way and I have a feeling some guys will be squirming in their seats.”

Originally seeing an extract of Boys’ Life performed by graduating third-year WA Academy of Performing Arts students, Leeder was so intrigued he tracked down the script.

“What I saw was so different from usual theatre, I became determined to stage the play one day,” he said.

“It’s not a traditional play where you have two acts and a break in the middle for a cup of tea.

Boys’ Life is about 90 minutes and doesn’t have the usual beginning, middle and end – it’s a series of nine scenes in different locations, so the audience will be asked to use their imagination more than usual.”

With a vast background in theatre, Leeder has been involved with Rockingham, Kwinana, Heritage, Harbour, Melville, Blak Yak and KADS Theatres and the Graduate Dramatic Society, scoring numerous awards and nominations for plays including The Importance of Being Earnest, Butterflies Are Free, The American Plan and Too Far To Walk, among others.

He has also worked professionally in film and television and for Black Swan Theatre’s production of Far Away.

Describing Boys’ Life as “a comedy with a difference”, Leeder says the show will be contemporary with a minimal set and different locations indicated by lighting changes and different positions on stage.

“One of the lead males hasn’t appeared on stage since high school and is now in his early 30s but he showed a natural ability for comic timing, which is going to be extremely important in this production,” he said.

Leeder also has a historical West Australian connection as a direct descendant of William Leeder who came out on the Rockingham and was responsible for establishing Leederville.

“In 1839, the first theatrical presentation in the colony actually took place in my great-great-great grandfather’s home,” he said. “It was a comedy called Love a la Militaire.”

Boys’ Life plays at 8pm, July 30, 31, August 5, 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14 with a 2pm matinee on August 1. Tickets are $17, $13 concession – book on (08) 9330 4565 or email [email protected]

Melville Theatre is on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra, Western Australia.

boys' life1-2: Boys will be boys… Troy Pick, Stephen Koczian, Rob Sharp and Lee Walker are up to no good in Boys’ Life at Melville Theatre this July.

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Melville Theatre Company

The Melville Theatre Company was the brainchild of David J. Burton who, in 1982, called a meeting for interested people in the community to form a theatre company in the Melville area.

As a result, the Melville Theatre Company was born. The newly formed company's first production was the farce, Not Now Darling. With its second production, The Sound of Music, the young company won the Finley Award for the Best Production of the Year in Community Theatre. Since then, actors and directors have consistently featured in the list of awards at the annual State Drama Festival.

Initially, performances were in the Melville Civic Centre but, since 1987, the venue has been the Roy Edinger Centre, on the corner of Stock Road and Canning Highway, Palmyra.
Geoffrey Leeder
P: 0410 50 55 82


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